Dag T.T. Haug, Brian D. Joseph and Anna Roussou
In those Slavic languages that retain both a case system and clitic pronominal forms two case-related phenomena partially overlap: (1) Masculine animate nouns and gendered pronouns display differential object marking with sensitivity to the animacy hierarchy. Some subset of these forms with the highest score on the animacy hierarchy show the original genitive form instead of the expected accusative in contexts that otherwise call for that case, the so-called genitive-accusative. (2) Personal pronouns also show instances of the genitive for the accusative but with important differences. In languages with a clitic~stressed contrast for oblique pronominals the accusative forms generally are continued as clitics and the genitive forms as stressed. It is unlikely that the nominal and personal-pronominal gen.-acc. are unrelated. On the other hand, the case choice for nouns and gendered pronouns is sensitive to the animacy hierarchy, but for the personal pronouns the choice between genitive and accusative is phono-semantic. Whatever semantic structure evokes the stressed forms leads to the production of the gen.-acc. I suggest that gen.-acc. began with o-stem masculine personal names, the most prototypical expression of the semantic class [+human, +male, +free, +definite] and was extended to the interrogative pronoun (gen.-acc. kogo). The interrogative pronoun had just those properties that allowed the remapping of an animacy hierarchy into a tonicity distinction.
In this contribution, I offer a summary of my 2013 Ph.D. dissertation from the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice on Griko dialect.
In this contribution, I offer a summary of my 2015 Ph.D. dissertation from the University of Ghent on the language and metre of Late Medieval Greek πολιτικὸς στίχος poetry as they pertain to information structure.
The distribution of short low vowels in West Saxon Old English adjectives cannot be explained entirely by levelling of surface forms and does not reflect lengthening in open syllables. A combination of levelling and rule restructuring is needed to account for the observed pattern.
Nina Topintzi and Stefano Versace
Dekapentasyllavo (DPS), the dominant poetic meter in the Modern Greek poetic tradition since several centuries, has barely received any attention by modern linguistic theories. Basing our discussion on the analysis of several dimotiká tragoúdia (folk songs), we seek to understand the structure underlying the meter. Our investigation reveals which patterns are frequently attested, which are less frequent and those which are (virtually) inexistent. DPS verifies the oft-cited L-R asymmetry in verselines (cf. Ryan 2013), which renders L-edges looser than the stricter R-edges. It also tolerates stress lapses much more than stress clashes. Our ensuing account captures this distribution by referring to, primarily, the relation of phonological phrasing to counting of metrical positions and, secondarily, to rhythm. These components are then integrated within a formal analysis along the lines of the Bracketed Grid Theory (Fabb & Halle 2008). We conclude by outlining how DPS poses a challenge for theories of poetic meter and by contemplating its contribution to the field.
This summary presents the main findings of my 2014 Ph.D. dissertation (La Trobe University) on the diachrony of the genitive case and its dialectal evolution in Greek.
Evidence for Accentual Change
This paper offers a new explanation for the barytone and oxytone accents attested for the Vedic -ti-stems. The two accents are commonly taken to derive from separate reflexes of a once unified proterokinetic paradigm, and it is against this account I will propose the divergence is instead chronological: oxytones belong to the oldest layer of the Vedas, barytones to the younger. The diachronic change we observe occurs within the Vedic period, and is localized to the accentual properties associated with the suffix -ti-. Our philological analysis of the -ti-stems across Vedic texts will support the “compositional approach” championed recently by Kiparsky (2010) and Kümmel (2014) against previous approaches. Finally, I will suggest answers to the question of how the accentual properties of -ti- changed based on recent research into the lexical phonology of accent systems.
Argyro Katsika and Darya Kavitskaya
Several accounts of the typologically unusual compensatory lengthening through the loss of the onset r in Samothraki Greek exist in the literature. However, none of these accounts take into consideration the precise phonetic detail of r-deletion and vowel lengthening in the language. This paper addresses this shortcoming by providing a phonetic analysis of Samothraki Greek compensatory lengthening through r-deletion. Our data show that vowels resulting from r-deletion are categorically longer than vowels not involving r-deletion. Moreover, there is no trace of r in the formant structure of vowels from compensatory lengthening. Finally, in contexts that do not allow for r-deletion, the majority of r productions are taps, most of which are accompanied by a vocoid. A new account of r-deletion in Samothraki Greek is proposed that takes into consideration the articulatory makeup of the r. The implications of this proposal for existing phonological accounts are discussed.